Although Hassan II Mosque was designed by a French architect, it is Moroccan through and through. Expept for the white granite columns and the glass chandeliers, the materials used to construct the mosque were taken from the Morocco region.
6,000 traditional Moroccan artisans worked for five years to turn these raw materials into mosaics, stone and marble floors and columns, sculpted plaster moldings, and carved and painted wood ceilings.
The mosque also includes a number of modern touches: it was built to withstand earthquakes and has a heated floor, electric doors, a sliding roof, and lasers which shine at night from the top of the minaret toward Mecca.
Many Casablancans have mixed feelings about Hassan II Mosque. On one hand, they are proud that this beautiful monument dominates their city. On the other, they are aware that the expense (estimates range from $500 to 800 million) could have been put to other uses. To build the mosque, it was necessary to destroy a large, impovershed section of Casablanca. The residents did not receive any compensation.